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On Tuesday night, I was lucky enough to attend a reception hosted by the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, an organization that holds a 5K run around Yankee Stadium every year to support their efforts. Last night welcomed Yankee great Roy White to the cause.

The former Yankees outfielder who says he hasn't run for distance since his days in the service, will serve as one of the official starters for the third annual Damon Runyon 5K Run at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 7.

(If you haven't registered and need more details on how you can RUN AROUND THE WARNING TRACK! and the bleachers, the stands, etc without having to worry about knocking into someone balancing a stadium beer cup--all while raising money for cancer--visit the Damon Runyon 5K site!)

Unfortunately, the Cincy game was canceled, it would have been pretty cool to have watched it with him, but the Q&A with him was just as rewarding. PLUS I got to hang out with Jason from the outstanding IIATMS blog. (Check out this recent post, which has been cited around the blogosphere as one of the greatest pieces ever written on the subject. I'm not even remotely exaggerating.)

Of course, I never got to see White play, so I deferred to my dad to give me some insights beyond what the more-than-impressive resume of records and stats could tell me.

"Oooh, you're meeting Roy White?? Yeah, he was a good one. Everyone loved him. He was just a real decent guy, just put his head down and did the work and didn't complain. Just a real good guy."

(And this coming from the guy who thinks Gandhi had ulterior motives.)

Like my dad, I love the Mariano Rivera's of the game. And in life, I suppose. The guys who go to work and just get it done, whose first priority is to do it well, and who don't place any sort of premium on resorting to the bells and whistles that ensure everyone KNOWS they're doing it well. No fist pumps, no brown nosing with the boss, no fluff.

Just...talent. And class.

When I arrived at Mickey Mantle's restaurant, White was sitting in the front of the room with Marty Appel and talking with MLB writer Marty Noble (whose take on the night is excellently captured here), and when he began the Q&A, I was struck by how genuine he was. My sister once told me that most people align themselves in a certain persona or identity or whatever. And then they end up liking things or responding to things in a way that may or may not be how they actually feel, but in a way that coincides with this persona they've chosen to project.

And I'd say that's pretty normal, and pretty accurate, but I didn't see that in White. He was genuine. He wasn't trying to be Johnny Modest or anything. He was proud of what he'd done with the Yankees, but also lightly self-deprecating at times.

It was unassailably awesome.

Some highlights from the endearing White:

On becoming a Yankee:

"When I was brought up, Bobby Richardson was the guy I wanted to pattern myself after. It was amazing. I had watched these guys all through little league, and I was just in awe being among them."

On his unbroken season sac fly record of 17:

"I wouldn't say sac flies are intentional. I wasn't exactly swinging as hard as I could, just enough to make contact. The thing was I always made sure to choke up on the bat. [The sac fly record] is one of the things I'm most proud of. I guess it's not that easy, only because it hasn't been broken yet. Managers talk a lot about small ball, and that was one of the little things I was good at."

On being a clean-up hitter who choked up on the bat:

"It doesn't really cut down on your power, you still have the bat speed. I remember the first time I actually choked up. 1970 Spring Training. I was 0 for 20, and we were playing the O's in Fort Lauderdale. Elston Howard was throwing batting practice. And all I of sudden I felt very relaxed in the box. Elston says, 'hey what are you doing over there?' I told him, 'Just trying something new.' The next thing I knew, I hit a line drive to right field, and I just kept my hands right there on the bat ever since. Right by the NY logo."


"Yeahhh, he's a lot faster than I was. A lot."

On Billy Martin:

"I really liked him a lot. You just never knew what he was gonna do. Once in 1975, we were on a road trip to Oakland. I was on 2nd, there was a runner on first. No out. I moved to third. Lou [Piniella] first squares to bunt, but then gets a base hit to left and I score, and I see Billy Martin coming up. I'm thinking he's gonna give me a high five and instead he says, 'You know, you missed a hit and run.' I knew then that we were playing a different kind of ball."

And lastly, on whether the 233-base stealer could do the 5K:

"Ha, I doubt I could make it one mile!"

(You and me both, White.)

I talked a little with White about how high he'd be ranked in everyone's fantasy leagues if he was still playing. I told him how I hate having to find players with specific stat benefits just to appease certain categories, and why is it ok for a slugger to be absolved of any kind of defensive or base-stealing prowess?

"Yeah, it was a different game back then."

White hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game five times and also switch-hit triples in a game on September 8, 1970, which nobody has ever done more than once in a season.

He had speed, too, and stole 233 bases in his career. He was in double figures in steals every season except for his first and last years, and he stole a career-high 31 bases in 1976 at the age of 32.

His fielding was just as steady as his other talents, and in 1975 he fielded 1.000, the first Yankee ever to play an errorless season.

League-leading performances offensively came in 1972 (99 walks), 1973 (639 at-bats), and 1976 (104 runs).

In 1971 he set the American League record for sacrifice flies in a season with 17.

In the 1976 playoffs his six doubles tied the ALCS lifetime record. His best postseason came in 1978 despite just having come off the disabled list when he hit .313 in the LCS, with a game-winning sixth-inning home run in the clincher, and hit .333 with a home run and four RBI in the World Series.

Roy White was good at everything. And he didn't make a big deal about it. And he still doesn't. He may have tried to pattern himself after Bobby Richardson, but for my money, today's baseball players should be patterning themselves after the guy who played with the timeless dignity and guileless resolve that bolsters our Great American Pasttime.

I mentioned in my last recap I'll be watching Tuesday's game with Roy White. Here's more information on the charity that he's supporting!

Official Press Release:


When thousands of avid runners, passionate baseball fans, cancer survivors, and supporters from across the country gather at the Damon Runyon 5K starting line on August 7 to support the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, they will get the signal to run from New York Yankees great Roy White, one of the race’s official starters.

The only charitable run/walk that uses the legendary ballpark as its course, the third annual Damon Runyon 5K at Yankee Stadium will take place on Sunday, August 7, 2011.

Participants will run or walk the Stadium’s concourses, climb stairs between levels, appear on the video board, and follow in the footsteps of their favorite players by taking their own victory laps on the warning track that circles the field.

The event is on track to reach a three-year total of $1 million raised to fund groundbreaking cancer research by the nation’s most innovative young scientists.

White spent his entire 15 year career with the Yankees. As starting left fielder, he helped them to an American League pennant in 1976 and two World Series Championships in 1977 and 1978. He still ranks in the Yankees top ten in several categories, including games played, hits, at bats, stolen bases and walks. For his career, he batted .271 with 1803 hits, 160 homers and 233 stolen bases.

In addition to serving as an official starter for the race, White will be featured at a private reception for the Runyon 5K’s leading early fundraisers on June 21 at Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant in New York City. He will tell stories about his days with the Yankees, participate in a Q&A, sign autographs, be available for photos and watch the Yankees play the Cincinnati Reds in an interleague showdown.

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the 1976 Yankees team that won their first American League pennant in 12 seasons before being swept by the Cincinnati Reds. The year was important in Yankees history as it marked their first pennant under late owner George Steinbrenner, who promised a swift return to the World Series when he bought the team in 1973.

The Foundation, established in 1946 and based in New York City, has a long history with the Yankees. Joe DiMaggio was on its Board of Directors. Damon Runyon himself was a New York writer who began his career as a baseball journalist, revolutionizing how the game was reported and often covering Yankees games.

Last year’s event raised more than $400,000 and drew a capacity crowd of 4,000 participants from 29 states. Click to see videos and photos of the 2010 Runyon 5K. In addition to the New York Yankees’ support, other event sponsors include the MetLife Foundation, White Rose, 24 Hour Fitness, the New York Daily News, SiriusXM Radio, and WNBC 4 New York.

Registration is still open for a fee of $40 and a minimum fundraising requirement of $60. After July 7 the registration fee will increase to $50. Family members and supporters will have the opportunity to view the event from the Delta SKY360° Suite overlooking home plate.

That's how to do it Yanks. Just keep winning games. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: I don't actually WANT the Yanks to win 14-5 routs as much as I want them to just win. That may sound obvious, but to clarify, I mean that I don't think it's physically possible to play 100% every game (don't even get me started on "110%"), because if you play 100% every game, you burn out. Play 80%. I don't care. Just play hard enough to win.

Which is what they've been doing.

Ivan Nova pitched a gem, (he actually let up LESS runs in 7 innings than Mo let up in 1 inning) and the Yanks cruised to a 5-3 win thanks to 4 runs of the manufactured persuasion in the 1st.

(That's right. In a ballpark notorious for long balls, our little rookie gave up no bombs. And in this same ballpark, our sneered at hired guns who haters perceive as a sort of Dirty Stay-Out ilk of players--cuz they're good for one thing and one thing only--managed to open up their stay in the Great American Ballpark by winning with singles. Go figure.)

There are a lot of excellent things about a game like this, but one of them is that the pace of the game affords me more of an opportunity to pay attention to things like Nova's pitches, and Swish's swing, and Grandy's plate presence. It was nice to see a game wrap up neatly under 3 hours, and the straightforward nature of it all was calming.

(Conversely, on the other side of NYC, Strange is watching the Chicago Showdown, and he texts me: "Great ozzie ejection tonight. He kicked the cubs catchers mask off the field.")

Re: Nova's pitches: the outs speak for themselves. (But in the interest of blogging, I will speak for them, anyway.)

It felt like nearly every single hit was a ground-out, and I'm suitably amazed that the kid actually managed to keep the ball down enough to prevent serious damage. What I've noticed about him in the last 3 starts (and last 3 Ws) is that he improves each problem area. Seriously, you really can't say enough about the ability of ANYONE, not just a ball player, to take direction.

(This is somewhat ironic coming from me, since the only person I take direction from is my dad. Even when it's in wild contravention to the instructions given an alternate authority figure. I remember playing softball in high school, and Tito Puente's granddaughter was the Varsity coach. She had all these crazy signals for everything...and unfortunately for her, so did my Dad. So I'd be about to step into the batter's box, with Puente frantically signing something, but she could never win my attention since I'd be looking over to my dad in the bleachers. His signals were less subtle, per se, ie "KRISTEN, do NOT bunt. Ya hear? SWING AWAY!")

Moving on.

Swish's swing is clearly improving, almost an inverse proportion to how Grandy's plate presence is deteriorating. I may be jumping the gun on this, but it's not just the fact that he's not in his crazy hot zone anymore. He just looks uncomfortable and frustrated. Like someone at the batting cages who knows he has 50 more pitches coming so he swings at everything.

He probably should just tweet more about it. Fans LOVE it when athletes tweet so much as once while they're even remotely mired in a slump. As if in the time it took to write that one tweet, he could have rehabilitated his entire set of weaknesses.

The only non-smooth things about the game really stemmed from Girardi's weirdo moves that should perhaps have their own segment on SNL at this point.

Andruw Jones does that annoying thing where he doesn't run out a grounder. I hate this. I don't care what anyone says, run it the eff out. He should have been reprimanded for this, no? Well it turns out Jones had rolled over his ankle or something so Joe wasn't mad about him failing to do his job on the basepath.

However, if this is true, why keep him in?

As a non-sequitor, you know who I love? Russell Martin. I don't care if he throws like a freebasing Chuck Knoblach sometimes. He's starting to remind me Rube from Major League II. He's fantastic.

Ok, that said, then there's these other confusing elements of the game:

Boone Logan came in for about a cup of coffee and the expression on his face when Girardi yanked him was priceless. He looked like someone had just told him this isn't a scrimmage and it's actually a real game. Like this emotional hybrid of mild sheepishness coupled with quizzical bemusement.

It started when Joe takes out Nova after 105 pitches (I'm okay with that decision) and puts in Ayala who apparently is now our new 8th-inning guy, on account of nothing more than Joe's say-so. Kind of like how teenagers are under the mistaken impression that asserting something in a facebook status cements its veracity.

In terms of facebook, it's basically like "Joe has tagged Luis Ayala in the album, 8th Inning Men." But then 4 pitches later, he untagged him, when Phillips singled and aahhhhh! all hell breaks loose!

No, not even. Not even a schrapnel of hell.

"Joe has checked into the 8th inning with Boone Logan."

I'm not sure I'm on board with this decision since he's the only lefty specialist I know of who patently is unable to get out lefties.

One pitch later, "Boone Logan and the 8th inning are no longer listed as in a relationship."

Yes, one pitch. Beans Votto in the back. In comes Mo.

Seriously, the game was cruising along at this breakneck pace, and then this nonsense.

Whatever, they won.


OH, did you know Jeter was actually supposed to be a Red? Yeah, Gene Bennett was the only scout who wanted to draft him though, so he got overruled.

When draft day came around, the Reds had fifth pick. Bennett still believed Jeter was their guy right up until the announcer called their pick.

"They said, 'The Cincinnati Reds take Chad Mattola,' and I said, 'Yeah, the Cincinnati Reds just took Babe Ruth too,'" he said, sarcastically. "Then real quick I heard them say, 'New York Yankees take Derek Jeter,' and I said 'Holy cow!'"

Bennett complained to Reds General Manager Jim Bowden, but said it was too late.

"It didn't help anything. The Yankees took Derek Jeter," he said.
And, history has a weird way of..well, just being weird I guess. The last time the Yanks were in Cincy, Jeter was announced captain (2003). And now he's doing God knows what on the DL when he should be getting his 3000th hit.

Maybe the Yankees brass felt like we've already rubbed Jeter in their face enough.

It's nice to see them being gracious.

TOMORROW I will be watching the game with ROY WHITE.

Seriously. At Mickey Mantle's restaurant. And interviewing him, and blogging about it!

More on that soon...

Good night!

What a nightmare of a day.

With the exception of my boy Chase rolling into NYC like an MVP, the day had all the earmarks of a disaster from the get go. I get in and all-star coworker Dawn calls to commiserate about the loss in Game 2. It's weird, but there are few people I LIKE sharing the misery of a loss with. You'd think I'd be more than comforted when people share your pain. But I was never a misery-loves-company type of person. However, my coworkers are actually across the board people who make me feel better after a loss. Cheers, LLNS.

That said, yesterday was pretty brutal. I wasn't in the best of moods to begin with, so maybe I put too much stock in the Yankee game. Like, depending on them to win to right the ship. (Ironically, this is my probably where my biggest aversion to relationships stems from. I hate how people assign too much importance to another person, all but allowing him or her to govern your emotions. You should be happy in your own rite.)

Soo, I guess it's ok for the Yankees to dictate my day, but not another human being. I'm okay with this line of thinking.

The game didn't start til 10:30, which sucked because I'm nothing if not a creature of habit and schedule, not quite to the annoying level that Mussina was, but pretty close to it.

'I congratulate the man who got 4,300 games, but sitting for 15 extra minutes before the game was supposed to start - that was worse,' said Mussina, whose second pitch of the game was hit over the centerfield fence by leadoff hitter Reed Johnson. 'When they say 2:15 and it's 2:25 and they're still on the field ... I don't want to take anything away from him. That's a tremendous accomplishment. But tell us 2:30 instead of 2:15. That's all.'

(This about a ceremony for a guy who died of cancer. I'd like to think I'm not THAT bad.)

But still. The bright side of the evening was meeting up with one of my oldest and closest friends in the world, Chase, whose obsession with "checking us in" via facebook to every. single. place. we so much as pass, would be annoying from any one else, but unerringly hysterical from him. We had just finished "checking into" the U.N. (only because I drew the line at checking us into Pfizer Headquarters) when it's announced the game is about to start.

And after a traipse around NYC, a fly by to 4L, and an bus back across town, I'm settled in and ready to watch the Yankees salvage this series. Right?

I didn't anticipate it playing out the way it did.

I mean, things were looking up! I got to drink with my coworkers! Hang out with Chase! There was even thunder and lightening coming into play, which I'm inexplicably obsessed with!

Me and Mo sidled up on the couch, and watched as the Yanks took an early 2-run lead when Granderson homered in the 1st with Jeter on. YEAH, TAKE THAT SUX! NOW YOU KNOW HOW WE FELT WITH THIS 1ST INNING BOMBS.

Sooo that was the 1st inning. 11:00. The day from hell was almost over, and the Yanks were on the board.

Oh, and just for good measure Beckett beaned Jeter and Arod within the first 15 minutes of the game. Schilling used to be my least favorite Suck. But I think it's safe to say that Beckett inspires an ire in me that I used to only reserve for the asshole that threw my mom's booksack in the train tracks when she was 7 years old.

The WORST part about it is that Beckett acts all confused etc like "What, what'd I do?" F'n prick. So, it's like that scene in that movie "Fear" with Mark Wahlberg, when the father of Reese Witherspoon goes and trashes Wahlberg's house to avenge the stalking of his daughter.

Which, in turn, invites Wahlberg's crew of hoodrats to retaliate.

"An eye for an eye, eh Mr. Walker sir? You f&%@ up our house, we're gonna F$%# UP YOURS! And a tooth for a f%^#ing tooth!"

Yeah, so that's what it was like when Ortiz gets plunked in the thigh in the 3rd.

Ok, plunked in the thigh < drilled in the knee cap.

So STFU, Ortiz. Good God. With all that steroid-built fat on your person, it was probably like the princess and the pea, with 2394 mattresses. And you're complaining? Go to hell.

"I'm still trying to figure out whether David got hit for something I did," Beckett said. You go to hell, too. In fact, why don't we just go ahead and get a group rate for Acela tickets for all of youse.

So the first 3/4 of the game was fun to watch.

The last 3 innings weren't so much.

The Sox scored 8 runs in the 7th, the first time anyone had scored since the 1st. And, well, that just took us a little by surprise.

Fatso pitched a good game, despite what the media is tripping over themselves to report as "yet another game where Beckett outdueled CC." One bad inning. Let's put things in perspective here. The game itself sucked, but I don't see this as being as hurtful as the other 2 where it just looked like the Yanks didn't even belong on the same field as the Sux.

This was just a disaster.

7 runs in the 7th inning, and to add insult to injury, the whole rally was bookended by one David Americo Arias. Who I see as Shrek's Iago basically. The evil version of a fun animated Disney character.

The Sux scored again in the 9th to make it 8-2, and the Yanks weakly responded with a run-scoring ground-out from Jeter. But no one cares about anything Jeter does these days, because now he's only 10 hits away from 3000.

Ok, you know what? I'm reallllly not gonna care about 3000 if it falls in the wake of this colossal collapse. (Collapsal?)

The Sux are now 2 games up on us. But hey, it's not even the ALL STAR BREAK and if I remember correctly, the Yanks are FAMOUS for their post-ASB rise from the ashes. Right? Come on, let's stay optimistic. I'm actually quite confused about why Joba's season-ending injury has us all scampering for cover.

It's JOBA. He's like the least reliable person in the world. Yes, he's been pitching well, but it's not like I'd ever in a million years hang the fate of the Yankees' season on him. If D-Rob got knocked out, then that's another story.

Listen, we're still in a situation where "there's a lot of baseball left to be played."

The Sux are 8-1 against us, but as Alec Baldwin so sagely tells us (or actually, tells John Krasinski):

Damn right.

Put it behind us. Time to take on the Indians.

We're Yankee fans. We know better. Let the Sux laugh now. We'll be laughing last.

I once wrote a post about how terrifyingly sociopathic AJ Burnett is. Like how the expression on his face is just the epitome of "I may go insane, I may not. But what I'm NOT gonna do is tell you which one I'm leaning towards."

From August 12, 2009:

Cano got a whipped cream pie in the face. Seriously, AJ looks more and more intense and aggressive every time he rolls out this little ritual. And not in a Will Ferrell in Old School locker room kind of way. Like a Mama Fratelli chasing after the Goonies kind of way.

So when I see he's the one taking the mound, following a loss to our rivals that was basically a Boston exercise in "How far can we push this? How many buttons can we press til the Yanks snap?"..I'm really expecting someone to die. Or, at the very least, get carted off the field.

Not hoping, per se. Just...expecting.

What played out was far from this prediction.

Here's another way I think of it. In terms of music, I imagine AJ coming out to Rage Against the Machine's Fistful of Steel. And in fact, that's what I listened to up til when I walked over to O'Neill's with my sister to watch the first part of the game.

But last night, AJ was holding nothing but a fistful of pudding.

(Which reminds me of when I was younger and I had creme brulee at a restaurant for the first time. And it was delicious. So I asked my dad, "What IS this? It's SO GOOD!" And he said, "Um it's like vanilla pudding but they burned the top part."

So in my youthful resourcefulness, I decided to make creme brulee myself. My parents came home to find me standing above the kitchen stove with a giant serving spoon filled with SnackPack pudding.

Only to them, they saw their 11 year old daughter standing over an open flame with some white substance in a spoon. Only years later did I learn why exactly they were so worked up about it.)

So, yeah. Fistful of pudding. Not steel. The Yanks lost 11-6. And this time, they have none of the assholery theatrics from the night prior to point at and whine about.

Like Tuesday night, the game opens up 3-0 within a matter of seconds, thanks to a 2-run bomb from Ortiz (no bat flip this time) and a bunch of errors that maybe we can chalk up to the heat, but, I mean, I get hot in 60 degree weather and frankly I didn't think it was THAT asphyxiatingly hot out last night.

The game got away from the Yanks pretty f'n fast. It's 7-0 before I even leave O'Neill's, until Arod hits a moon shot to left and puts the Yanks on the board. You know, for all the crap he gets, he's pulling his weight just as much as anyone else on the team. Which brings me to someone who is NOT doing his share right now:

Derek Jeter.

Yeah, I love Jeter. Who doesn't? And like everyone else, I give him a ton of latitude because in reality the Yanks would not be the Yanks without him. No dynasty, no evil empire, none of it. But last night pissed me off big time.

With the bases loaded, and the fastest runner in the game on 3rd, Wakefield throws wild pitch #2910 of the day and instead of waving GGBG home like a human windmill, Jeter holds him up. I said to my sister, in uncharacteristic CYC-pessimism, "He's just holding him up so he has the golden opportunity to ground out into an inning-ending double play."

Which is exactly what he did. And then I hated myself for having said it out loud. Everyone loses.

In the 5th inning, the Yanks staged a bit of a rally, closing the gap to 7-4. Not bad, not bad. It had all the earmarks of a Yankees classic. And it's sad, remembering the 2009 boys who would eat deficits like this up for breakfast. (You eat deficits for breakfast? Eww.)

But the 2011, not as forthcoming with the comebacks, per se.

Some other thoughts on the game (I love how bulleted lists exempt me from cohesive thought and transitional phrases):

  • I'm confused about errors are being recorded here. First I see Cervelli throw a ridiculously errant throw that manages to slip by 23 fielders in some crazy Frogger like agility. Then he does the same thing again. Like, EXACTLY the same thing. So that would be 2 errors, yeah?

    Then our 3B who is very much NOT Arod bobbles a ball and that would be the 3rd, no?

    THEN, Youkilis does something at 3rd that is too contorted and inane to even be considered "bobbling." It was more like some bizarro contortionist, Cirque de Soleil kind of manuveuring that somehow escapes the E column.

    By my count, there should have been at least 4 errors. Maybe 5 if you consider Cano's mishandling of the ball at 2nd that got the runner out at 1st but allowed the runner on 3rd to score. But no. Only 2 were recorded. So maybe the score keeper just got too hot to function. Like everyone else.

  • Something bizarre happened at 3rd that no one seemed to pick up on except for my sister. Ortiz makes it to third on one of said Cervelli faux paus, and it looks like he's winding up his arm about to ass-slap Eduardo Nunez. But then it was almost like, upon seeing the camera on him, he immediately retracts his arm. Wtf is going on?? Seriously, it's like Boston is just treating the Yanks like how I treated my poor youngest sister when we were growing up. Just teasing them and annoying them to the point where they have no other recourse but the whine, and then when they DO whine, everyone rolls their eyes. (Sorry, Amanda!!!)

  • Eduardo Nunez looks like this creepy bad guy in this Care Bears Movie I remember seeing when I was younger.

Compare that cucumber thing to Nunez. Uncanny, no?

Anyways, so there's that.

  • Moving on, GGBG made a gutsy play for first in the 4th, sliding headfirst into the bag, but Wakefield made the play. And I swear it almost looked like he kicked him in the head.

    I wouldn't be surprised really.

    They showed a stat that AJ and Wakefield lead the league in wild pitches, which explains why the camera man was obsessively fixated on showing the bucket of balls before the game started. Ahhh, I get it. So many wild pitches between the 2, need extra balls, etc. I said to Laur, "I mean, Wakefield's a knuckleballer. What's AJ's excuse?"

    Her response: "Insanity."

    That's cool. AJ pleads insanity.

    Insanity or stupidity, not sure which, was the motivation behind intentionally walking Ortiz. I can't wrap my mind around this. If you're going to walk him anyway, WHY NOT F&^%ING DRILL HIM IN THE HEAD???

  • I know, I've clearly lost all of my usual, "Our first responsibility is to be a good person" niceties. Cost of war.

  • Jeter's now 11 shy of the 3000th hit, which is obviously clouding anything bad he does. Hmpf.

  • Speaking of clouding anything bad done, Super Mario hat 3 hits and 2 ribbies for the Yanks, but also gave the Sux a free pass to sour around the basepaths like a star-induced Luigi. I don't know if they even out, I'd rather he had played normal defense than freebasing defense.

  • Can someone explain to me why Noesi was sent to triple A?? After what he did on Tuesday, you'd think they'd give him a little more grace. Geez. Tough crowd in that clubhouse.

And here are some fun stats from ESPN on how our Red Sux killer has fare since being a Yank:

A.J. Burnett has now allowed 7+ ER to the Red Sox 4 times has a Yankee. That's the 2nd-most such starts by a Yankee vs the Red Sox in the Live Ball Era (since 1920). Only Red Ruffing, who had 5 such starts, has more. Ruffing made 51 career starts vs the Red Sox as a Yankee. Burnett has made 8.

A.J. Burnett is now 0-4 in 8 starts with a 8.71 ERA vs the Red Sox as a member of the Yankees. He was 5-0 with a 2.56 ERA in 8 starts vs Boston with the Blue Jays.

Ok, if you're going to be that ineffective, please be ineffective while inflicting some kind of damage. I don't necessarily mean physical damage, but you definitely can't dispute the effect a hit batter has on the dynamic of the team. It riles people up, etc. Girardi should have insisted on getting tossed, just to appease us rabid fans who are foaming at the mouth for some retaliation. A la Norman Dale-style.

The last Sux game I went to, I saw a dude wearing a shirt that said "I'm a Yankee fan. Fight me." And then I saw him disappear for a few innings and return all sweaty and disheveled. I like that guy. I want that guy on the field.

And I want to win tonight.

I may be realllly upping the stakes here, but there's a possibility me and my beer pong partner may venture into the lion's den (aka a Sux bar). I figure, even if the Yanks can't beat the Sux, I know at the very least, there aren't any Sux fans that can beat us at pong.

One last thought. The Yanks couldn't beat the Sux til August in 2009. And that worked out ok. That's what I'm gonna keep telling myself anyway. Tonight would be a great night to show Boston we're still in charge. Take back first place. And more importantly, take back our cajones.

“They will pick up the slack, you will see something new,
Two extra large pitchers. I call them Fat One and Fat Two.
These Fats will not hurt us. They don’t give up runs.
And out on the field came Fat Two and Fat One!”

--Dr. Seuss, if he changed all the words to be more relevant to my blog post about fleshy starters

After losing that annoying little 3-2 blechfest on Friday, the weekend was a nice little celebration of blimp-like pitchers leading allowing us to salvage a west coast road trip that began with a near-sweep in Seattle (I hope I never have to utter/write that last phrase again), and Allergy come in on Saturday and Sunday (respectively) to bring the series a BIG FAT W, AS WE BREAK FOR HOME AND GET THE HOUSE READY FOR OUR BOSTON GUESTS.

Fatso, being Fatso, almost went a complete game on Saturday, as the Yankees flip flopped the score and took Game 2. Cano and Arod went deep, as Cano and Arod are want to do. And that was all the Bombers needed to do in the Halos. Well, that, and Round Boy's increasingly devastating change-up.

It's funny, because I think it was sometime at the end of 2009 when I was talking to my favorite all-time lunatic Ollie about the importance of a change-up, and how every pitcher who's worth his salt, adds a lethal change-up to his arsenal.

And that's exactly what CC has done in the last few years. His fastball isn't of Daniel Bard caliber, or Kyle Farnsworth, or even Joba. But look at those 3 names and tell me just how indispensable they've been. Or, rather, haven't been.

The fastball is passe. The change-up is the equivalent of adding a major in Spanish to your accounting major (a combination that my dad swore left right and center would be the absolute smartest way to go in college. So, of course, I was an English and Theater major, which made it reallllly easy to get a job after graduation. Nope.)

In CC's words:

"It was huge for me tonight. The only reason I pitched eight innings tonight was because I was able to get some swings early, get some weak fly balls and some ground balls with that pitch. A couple of years ago, I probably would have been in trouble, not being able to command it if I didn't have it early."

Ha. "It was huge for me tonight." Hehe.

So that was Game 1. As for today, it was a glorious afternoon of winning.

There were 2 text messages from Tex tonight, according to Sterling. And a swishalicious bomb from Swisher, also according to Sterling. But that's where I'll cease and desist using Sterling as a reference for the recap, since there are about 912 other incidents that Sterling alleged occurred, but that we as viewers (and as viewers presumably of sound mind) that we know weren't real.*

*More specifically, I'm referring to the number of lazy pop-ups and in field ground outs that the aforementioned radio announcer deemed "high and far."

I digress. As usual. Back to bullets:

  • The Yankees' numbers were big in the right places and small in the right places. Like an aesthetically pleasing chick. With one exception, and it wasn't even that big a deal, I think, so in terms of this metaphor, it'd be like the equivalent of like a weird laugh. Something not really noticeable at first glance, but something that could potentially start to be problematic over the long term. And that annoying titter is: the number of pitches they saw.

    I am a HUGE proponent of sitting on pitches. HUGE. I don't think I've ever in my entire life swung at the first pitch, which isn't even really a good idea statistically since it means I'm often down in the count AND end up having to swing at less than stellar pitches.

    But my dad told me never ever to swing at the first pitch, and I guess if I had to pick between the Choice of College Major and Patience at Plate words of paternal advice, I probably should have picked the former to follow, rather than the latter. Semantics.

    The Yanks took barely 13o pitches, the Halos nearly 170. Interestingly, though, the players who saw the LEAST amount of pitches were Tex (with 2 bombs on 9 pitches) and Posada (who went 2 for 4). I don't care. Economic appearances be damned. We're about to face the Sux and I feel like nothing quite dismantles them like shaking up their pitchers.

  • The best low number of the night: 5 LOB. 11 hits, only 5 men left on base. That's great! The Halos had 10 hits, with 10 LOB. ((Insert this here.)) Look at that, the whole annoying laugh thing coming full circle! I didn't even plan it that way.

  • The low number with the big significance: Jeter going 1 for 5. Which puts him 14 shy of 3000.

  • The big significance number with ridiculous significance: 28. Jeter would be the 28th player to hit 3000. That's big significance. In my warped mind, the 28 also happens to be the number of WS we're chasing right now. That's ridiculous significance.

  • D-Rob is either a breath of a fresh air or a coronary waiting to happen. I can't decide which. Maybe both though. He has the market cornered on being thrown in the game in the WORST possible times, and I think it may have started because Girardi was like "Ok, kid. Let's see what you got." And then he was sooo good at it, that they kept doing it.

    And now I think it's just morphed into some kind of pushing the enveloped type of scenario. Like, there's some kind of over-under bet in the clubhouse like, "how many innings before the other cleat drops." Either that or he's being punished for something bad.

    Regardless, he's just really good at it. The Allergy gets pulled, and D-Rob comes in, walks the bases loaded for good measure, and strikes out Maicer Izsturis to end the 6th. Joba K's Kendrick with 2 out to end the 7th, pitches a scoreless 8th and in effect becomes the bridge to Mo we always wanted him to be, and Mo subsequently gets the last 3 outs of the game. Yankees win!

  • Piniero, the starting pitcher for the Halos, whose name always conjures up some images of B-list Mafiosa dude, like the one in charge of knocking off real estate agents of something, had this to say about his performance:

"I thought I had good stuff. You limit the long ball and maybe you have a chance to win. But they're built off the long ball, and obviously they did that today. I guess (Teixeira) was seeing the ball well today. I thought the changeup was a good pitch, then he went and got the sinker."

I get the biggest kick out of when losing pitchers are all, "I mean, I thought I was doing pretty well! Guess not. Since we lost and all. Sigh."

It's SORT of like this weird, incongruous shot from ESPN today:

It's this article on how it's more important to pick hitters first in fantasy drafts, over pitchers, which a.) seems a little irrelevant now that drafts have been over and done with for about 3 months now, and b.) even if it was relevant, is that the best example to use? Mauer?

Mauer, who was my 3rd pick, hasn't played a game since April 12. He has been collecting dust on my roster for what feels like forever, and is now this year's Jose Reyes. The dude I picked up early, will never drop, even when there's only 2 games left of the season and he's still sporting a red DL tag next to his name.

So, ESPN, maybe that's the way YOU operate. But your choice of supporting imagery is something of cognitive dissonance.

So thank you, Fat 1 and Fat 2, for keeping us 1 game up on the Sux. There's something about watching 2 straight days of starters devoid of any metabolism-related that inspire you to get out of the house. (Which was maybe the same mentality behind FatBooth, the new app for the iPhone that shows you what you look like if you're fat. Sounds very...cheerful.)

(To this end, I decided to go rollerblading and it turns out you have to wear a helmet to rollerblade. Is this a real law? I don't own a rollerblade helmet. Does anyone? I own a Giants football helmet, which is what I later went home to retrieve upon being informed of this NYC rule, but seriously, is that what NY wants? Me skating around in a football helmet like some kind of G.U.T.S. contestant, rather than me skating around in youthful blitheness? Whatever.)

So there it is. The Yanks head out of the West Coast, and we can all go back to normal bedtimes. (I say this as I'm blogging away at 3am, but you know what I mean.) The week of 10pm starts and weird scheduling stuff has subsided in favor of a hellish homestand that will feature Boston, Cleveland (still mute), and Texas...before we head to Chi-town for the Cubbies.

Happy Monday everyone!

Earlier in the night I was at a bar in midtown with pennies covering the bar, and the owner tells us that if we guess the number of pennies within 10, we drink for free ALL YEAR.

So naturally I start counting.

The people actually sitting at the bar are not amused by this endeavor, as I’m sure I would probably be annoyed too if I was trying to enjoy Happy Hour but kept getting some Rain Man-esque weirdo poking their finger up and down the space I was trying to sit.

Additionally, thanks to the Yankees conservative avoidance of double digit numbers in any way shape or form (excepting men LOB), I don’t know if my mind has the capacity to count too high anymore.

The Angels beat the Yanks 3-2. Really frustrating having recap #12 of the season (or around thereof) that applauds the decent pitching performance of our starter but then dimly describes the loss. I need a Word Macro for “The Yankees’ starter was handed the L, despite his 4th consecutive impressive outing that was wasted when the offense failed to score with runners in scoring position.”

Ah, you know what? I’m sorry, that was kind of uncharacteristically pessimistic of me. It’s 6am, I’m teetering on delirious and have had to go back and erase on more than one occasion like 15 rows of uninterrupted g’s which is my subsconscience copywriting “I’d like to sleep now.”

Actually, I wasn’t really too pissed about this loss. Seriously. Maybe it’s because I was talking to someone about the 2009 World Series earlier in the day, and she said, “You know what my favorite part of the playoffs was?” (I guessed Game 6 of the World Series, but I was wrong.) “My favorite part was beating the Angels because they ALWAYS beat us.”

True. So with that still fresh in my mind, and considering we just swept a team, I’m not gonna dwell on this one.

Here’s how it went down:

  • Weaver gets the W, and now has the most wins in the AL at 7, which is kinda funny since the rest of the AL had over a month to catch up—his 6th win was April 25. He’s so freaking intense. Instead of just being like, Woohoo! he says, "I didn't face the Yankees last year, so I was really amped up for this one -- too amped up, as it turned out. I have to be more careful not to let my emotions get the best of me.”
  • Jeter is looking good, even if his stats aren’t overtly exciting. His control at the plate is discernibly improving though, he must have followed off 2031 pitches in the 1st inning. He has gone 43 consecutive plate appearances without striking out, his longest stretch of the season.
  • The Halos take a 2-0 lead early, and Nova isn’t looking AS sharp, but still I like this guy. Abreu (yeah he still plays baseball) doubles in the first run, with Callaspo’s groundout later plating him.
  • R-Mart puts us on the board in the 2nd with a single, and amidst all the other drama lining the Yankee media reels, I sincerely hope the supreme impact Martin’s had on the team does not go unnoticed. I’d go so far as to say he has been one of the sagest pickups in recent history. I’m not saying the BEST (cough…CC…cough…ARod….cough….Tex) but in terms of bang for buck and utility for the team’s needs, R-Mart has been nothing shy of indispensable.
  • That other catcher on our team breaks out of a 1-18 slump (sort of) by grounding out to bring in ARod in the 4th. Which spurs the hip hip Jorge cheers, and it’s funny how—as a rule—standards just always warp with the passage of time. Kind of like how when I was in college in the south, I melted when a guy came opened the door for me or helped me into my jacket. Now I consider cabdrivers chivalrous if I can cross the street without getting run over.
    That hit, by the way, was the last the Yanks had in the game. And to remind you, this was in the 4th inning. I’m pretty sure the last game played had a similar situation, where the last 5 innings weren’t really needed, all the action happened in the first 4. Very un-Yankee-like. Usually they take a page from my book and will physically show up, but not actually mentally check into the game until the 6th inning. Sort of like my “creative process” at the office. Yeah, let’s call it that. A “creative process.”
  • The Angels’ game-winning run comes in the 4th (but of course we don’t know that at the time) when Bourjos’ single scores Branyan. Sooo Nova gets tagged with the L, but it's ok. I don't need players to be lights out every game. I just need them to be ENOUGH. (Unfortunately Nova wasn't "enough" for this game. But he usually is. Kinda like how Chad Gaudin inexplicably never lost a game for like the first month he spent with the Yanks.
  • Interesting history bit (from The Yankees are playing their first series at Angel Stadium since April of last season, when Tex knocked out Wilson in a violent collision at home plate in the rookie's first major league start behind the plate. It left Wilson with a concussion and injured left ankle that sidelined him for 21 games. "As a catcher, that's what you sign up for. That's part of the job," Wilson said. "Even getting hit the way I did, I'm not going to back down from anything."
    THANK YOU, WILSON. I’m so tired of hearing everyone act like Scott Cousins is the devil himself for what he “did” to poor Buster Posey. (Is it me, or is the fact the kid’s name is Buster Posey contributing to the tidal wave of sympathy? I doubt there’d be this much concern and knee-jerk (no pun intended) protectiveness if the kid’s name was Butch Giagundo or something.)
    Yeah it sucks for Buster a lot, but technically he was in the wrong. He was blocking the plate without even having the ball. Cousins had little recourse.
    We were all sooo happy for the scrappy little SF Giants last year when they won the WS in a match up that most people feigned interest in to justify their ardent rooting against the Yanks leading up to the series. (You can’t really hope against hope the Yanks get knocked out only to then become bored with baseball.)
    Anyways, so yeah the Giants won last year and then the horrible attack happened to the fan, and I think that might have just cemented their role as The Official Human Interest Story. Because otherwise it makes no sense why a run of the mill collision at the plate has become cause for murmurings.

So there’s that. Some guy named Jordan Walden gets the save.

You know what? I think the Yanks are actually about to go on a 6 or 7 game win streak. Take the next 2 in LA. Sweep Boston, take the first 1 or 2 from Cleveland. I know, it’s a tall/f’n ginormous order. Schedule’s pretty rough for June. But the Yankees are nothing if not wildly unpredictable right now. Keeps us on our toes. But even in their losses you can see something good…

I don’t mind the inevitable slumps when they’re statistical slumps. In other words, if I’m hitting .011 but every single hit was roped into center and the like, I’m not going to start tapping a chicken leg up and down my bat or anything.

HOWEVAH, a batting average of .750 that was created by dinker infield singles…well, I’m not going to complain but to be honest I’d rather have the .011 with the solid hits drilled straight into the outfield’s glove.

I read that when a baseball player is going through a slump, he feels the complete opposite. If he hasn’t reached base since the Reagan administration but has been consistently lining out to left, he’s apparently even MORE discouraged, disheartened, and disgusted.

Because he sees it as the equivalent of walking outside when you’re having a hellish morning, only to discover it’s pouring rain out and it’s gonna be impossible to get a cab. No one likes this scenario, but to someone who’s had a crappy start to the day, the rain is that proverbial “just one more thing.” The “oh, of COURSE it’s raining. YEAH OF COURSE IT’D HAVE TO RAIN TODAY. NOTHING GOES RIGHT EVER” type of mindset.

Similarly, I feel like the Yankees are getting some tough f’n breaks lately. (I just reread that last sentence and realized that should a hater happened to meander over to this blog, I may as well align myself with the Prince John of Nottingham, stealing pennies and such from all the deprived citizens and plotting the demise of the brave Robin Hood.)

That’s what I’d imagine anti-fans read when they see someone make a claim that the Yankees can’t catch a break. Additionally, I think I’d be not as averse to these haters having this image in their head if it was the Disney version of Robin Hood. With all the animals.

On a side note, I never understood why some animals are like humans but some retain their normal animal role. Like there can be a bear who’s a friar and he does all sorts of clergyman functions. But then there’s other animals who only have partly evolved. Like they can talk..but they don’t wear clothes. Or they still live in mouse holes. And birds, forget about it. Birds can’t even talk, they just chirp and help princesses hang things on clotheslines usually.

I don’t really remember where I was going with this, or how in God’s name I ended up talking about Disney rodents, but it’s comforting actually, because I feel like the whole work slowing down thing has enabled me to regain my manic baseball incomprehensibility. Yeah, I set the bar REALLY high for myself.

The point I’m pretty sure I was trying to make before I got distracted by dust is that the Yanks record is misleading. They are the best in their league (which is great!) but they have some moderate-to-severe issues in the line-up.

And sometimes rotation. I don’t know. Can anyone really pinpoint where the weakness is? It’s like looking at a fantasy team who’s so streaky and when you try to figure out why, you realize that your players are all really good, but not really good together.

To be clear, I’m not saying the Yanks of 2011 aren’t GOOD together, per se. But I do think they need to get their shit together in the clubhouse. I kind of just want to go one week without hearing about Arod kicking it with his banned cousin, or Posada complaining about something, or Jeter’s inexplicable ascent into snarky. (My sister, to her credit, has pointed out this trend before…).
The countdown to Jeter's 3000th hit continues with predictable overdone-ness. As my sister said, "Have you noticed how in the last 2 years every time they interview Jeter there's an increasing edge to his voice? Like he used to be Mr. Media and all smiles, and it's progressed into this undertone of 'Ok, yeah, I'm just trying to win, this isn't rocket science.'"

I just think maybe everyone’s cranky from losing. Or the heat. Or maybe they’re just 100% sick and tired of being scrutinized for completely meaningless crap? Jeter is seriously like on the verge of snapping, as evidenced by his reaction to the “Most Overrated Poll.”
had a great take on this:

Here's the scoop.Erik Boland of Newsday describes the scene in the clubhouse yesterday, with Joba, who "won" the title last year, teasing A-Rod about it:

"I lost," Chamberlain proclaimed for the rest of the clubhouse to hear. "I got beat out. No. 2, though...I guess I passed the torch on to Alex."

Upon seeing Rodriguez enter the clubhouse, Chamberlain, surrounded by reporters, yelled at the third baseman.

"You’re next Al, you’re next!"

Here's how A-Rod reacted:

Rodriguez smiled for almost the entirety of the time he spent talking about the anonymous poll.

"I’ve been on this list before," A-Rod said before pausing and taking note of 3/5 of the list comprising Yankees. "So it’s three Yankees? So I’ll see you guys next summer again."

Rodriguez also poked fun at his past reasons for making headlines.

Players vote?

"I’m sure I’ll be on it next summer so I’ll try to come up with some better material for you guys," he said. "But, I will say this. If this is the only thing we’re talking about, fellas, we’re doing good."

Here was Jeter's reaction, which wasn't quite so jovial:

Jeter was not close to being amused.

"We're doing this again?" he said. "I have no comment on anonymous polls. I've never understood those anonymous polls."

He added: "It's the same thing they do every year, right? I'm focused on more positive things. How about that? There's your quote."

Discussing his chase of 3,000 hits later on, Jeter amended that.

"Consistency is underrated," he said, putting emphasis on "underrated." "That's the quote."

Jeter usually has the right thing to say, as in saying nothing while saying something, but I thought he came off as really cranky here. This poll, voted on by 185 MLB players, is the quintessential example of the "you're just jealous" sentiment. Yankees win every year (Jeter was just as perturbed when he "won" the honor a few years back), because players are jealous of the attention and money they get.

Yeah, seriously. Relax, Jeter.

Oh, jealous Yankee haters! Your complete lack of self awareness and your guileless disregard for telegraphing your raw envy is actually quite remarkable.

The loony tune fan of the day, however, goes to some dude who made the ill-advised decision outside of a bar earlier in the night to poke the bear. And by “poke the bear,” I mean he came over, interrupted a conversation I was having with someone else to say, “Are you a Yankee fan?”

(WHY do people ask this? As a courtesy before they inform you the Yankees suck? "No, I just wear the hat to throw people off. I like turtles.”)

Then without skipping a beat he launches into…wait for it…the PAYROLL RANT!

He was a self proclaimed "die hard Rays fan for life" (DHRFFL) and kept listing all the people he knows or met or whatever, as valid substantiation of his payroll claims. I hate non-Yankee fans, I swear. They make my head hurt.

“Listen, trust me. You only win because your payroll is so high. I’ve met George Steinbrenner a lot. I have season tickets to the Rays.” And then, he saves the most compelling argument for last, to really drive home his case. He kept saying over and over again how he dated the daughter of what sounded like “Jon Knee-Gree.”

OH! You dated HER?? Well, next time lead with THAT! Oh, yeah, no you're right. That definitely does effectively put the "buy their team" debate to bed once and for all.

(Of course, nothing ever EVER will top this for Dumbest Argument Ever Made).

And at first I’m mildly angry at myself because I have no idea who Knee Gree is but he says it like it's a name I should be impressed with, and I can’t dispute the validity of it. But then I remember I'm talking to little more than an animated wax sculpture, and figure that Mr. Knee Gree could very well be the DHRFFL's name for the king of his snail colony or something.

So looney tunes' closing remarks to me: “You. NO PATIENCE!”

What does that even mean? Like if I had just waited a little longer, he was eventually going to say something semi-coherent?

The whole city is nuts.

See you later for Game 2 at 9:05 tonight!

We’re going streaking!*

*Since I know my mom reads this and gives me an itemized list of things she finds inappropriate, I will clarify this by saying, I am not inviting anyone to strip down to nothing and run the streets of NYC. Instead, I am making reference to an earlier comment about how the Yankees are gonna go on a 6 or 7 game winning streak.

Ah yeah, so here we are again! Back in business. Up where we belong. You know it's a good morning when your biggest problem is trying to decide which Youtube video to embed that best captures the feeling of being awesome again.

Thanks to Strange and the Southsiders for their well-timed, much needed sweep on the BeanSox. And thanks to the A's for playing dead for us. And thanks to TB for phoning it in against the Rangers.

Thanks to Swisher for the game-winning bomb that helped AJ snap his 11-game losing streak. (Which really sounds a lot worse than it is. If you look at the losses lining that skid, they were a lot of games that he just got robbed.)

And thanks to the Yanks for playing like the Yanks.

So Swish thinks he's supposed to lay down a bunt in the fourth, when the Yanks are down by 1, with runners on 1st and 2nd, no outs.

This is completely incomprehensible to me, by the way. The idea of ever giving Swish the bunt signal is on par with the idea of asking Hannibal Lector to prepare Easter dinner. It's going no where good, and it's going to make everyone sick.

I honestly don't remember the last time I saw Swish put down a bunt that didn't pop up 6 feet in the air. So instead of bunting, he swings away and hits his 4th ding of the season and plates 3--all the Yanks needed to put the A's down for what feels like the first sweep in centuries for them.

I was following the game on my computer at work, and at around the 6th inning I'm packing up, getting ready to call it a day, and my sister asks about the game, and I say, "the Yanks got this one, it's 4-2 in the 6th." And I realized with dismay that this is a completely ridiculous thing to say and that the days of safe leads are over. Grr.

But the days of Mariano Rivera being awesome are NOT over, for the record. I don't care how many blown saves he has. He's Mo. So it goes without saying that he is absolved of any mishaps, and exempt from any disappointment.

(Speaking of the Onion, is it me, or are the real news and the onion news starting to become indistinguishable? For example:

Weinergate: Rep. Weiner unsure if he's the man in lewd photo sent on Twitter feed, makes dirty jokes

(That's real.)

Blackhawks Attempt To Find Out Why Shark On San Jose Logo Is Eating Hockey Stick

(That's fake. And yet a completely valid question, really.)

Anyways, so back to the game of the Yankees persuasion. The Yanks who also play on fantasy team "Las Crisis Nerviosas" put up some stellar numbers for me, which did some damage control after I blatantly forgot to unbench pretty much everyone for the last 3 days.

I challenge you to give me something more disheartening than the feeling of looking at your neglected roster and discovering that a benched player went 5-for-5 with 3 bombs or pitched 9 innings with 16Ks, etc. It's just unassailable misery of the highest order.

A-Rod's double in the 1st scored Jeter, who continues to ride on the momentum of the 3000th hit countdown. (16 away!) and our pitching relief came through to keep the game and the A's at bay.

Joba pitched a scoreless eighth, Mo got 14th save in 17 chances (which really sounds a LOT better than calling out the 3 blown ones in the mix). It was his 1002nd appearance, tying Goose for 14th place all-time.

The A's whine a lot, btw. They're not very good against the Yankees and they pout and bitch to a Joe Maddon-esque extent. I guess it's not unwarranted. Their starter Gio Gonzalez allowed four runs five hits and four walks in 6 1/3 innings in this game as the three starters fell to 1-10 with a 7.24 ERA in their careers against the Yankees. Ha. That's bad.

Anyways, so congrats Yankees on the sweep on regaining the reign of the AL East!

It's good to be back. And just for the hell of it:

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